Here are plain text versions for some important Des Moines Register articles, relating to the Johnny Gosch and ‘Franklin Scandal’ cases.
September 8, 1984
“A Washington, DC-area man who says he searches for missing children has been ordered to tell a federal grand jury in Des Moines what he knows about missing newspaper carriers Eugene Martin and Johnny Gosch.
Paul Bishop, 25, who describes himself as a “former street kid,” has been subpoenaed to appear Tuesday. He apparently will be asked to discuss statements tied to him alleging that Gosch is being held by child pornographers.
U.S. Attorney Richard Turner wouldn’t confirm or deny whether a grand jury is interested in the cases and declined to comment.
Noreen Gosch, Johnny’s mother, says Bishop has been an unpaid volunteer in the search for her son. She said that she and Bishop are “baffled” by the order. ‘We’ve been told by various sources that law enforcement basically doesn’t have much to go on and they’re trying to find out if we’ve got anything going,” she said.
Bishop, who lives in Springfield, Va., and has made frequent contacts with Noreen and John Gosch, wasn’t available for comment Friday. A phone number he gave to Washington authorities was answered by a man who said he didn’t know Bishop. Asked if Bishop lived at the Washington number, the man said “I don’t think so.” He said he was standing in a phone booth and had picked up the receiver because he heard the phone ringing.
The subpoena could force Bishop to explain under oath statements that Gosch was abducted for pornography and was being held captive along with Martin. Martin, 14, disappeared Aug. 12, and Gosch vanished Sept. 5, 1982, when he was 12. The two were delivering the Des Moines Sunday Register but police have been unable to connect the disappearances.
Sue Martin, Eugene’s stepmother, said Bishop “got us excited and said he knew the boys were alive” in the Southwest. But she said the contact with him “fizzled” and the family no longer is in touch with him. “I didn’t like him,” she said.
About two weeks ago, according to an investigator, Bishop was interviewed by two FBI agents near his home.
Described in an April 18 Washington Times story as head of a “self-proclaimed renegade group” known as KIDS, an acronym for Kids in Distress Services, Bishop recently helped find two East Coast 15-year-old runaways in Little Rock, Ark., after a week-long disappearance, the Times said.
Gosch said Bishop first contacted her in February and was one “of a lot of people who offered assistance,” including private investigators in Rhode Island, Missouri, New Mexico and California. “Most of them called after seeing national publicity on Johnny and wanted to help,” she said. Among the investigators, she said, is Sam J. Soda of Des Moines. Soda said that he hadn’t been subpoenaed and that he knew nothing of a grand jury investigation. Gosch said she knew of no other subpoenas.
Bishop, the Gosches say in a reference letter circulated by him, has given “the only straight answers to questions we have had during this painful search.” The Gosches say he has been “straightforward and honest about the possibilities in our case.” “Mr. Bishop has connections which could make the difference in our son’s life,” the letter said.
In an interview Friday, Gosch said that a pattern has emerged from a number of sightings across the country to indicate that her son is alive. She said the descriptions are “always identical” and resemble her son. “We’ve never been fortunate to be on the spot when they see the boy. By the time we get a man there we can only put pieces together,” she said”.
August 9, 1985
Sam Soda, the private investigator and anti-smut campaigner from Des Moines, no longer is giving SCARED lectures, but he says his fight against child pornography continues. “SCARED fulfilled its mission,” Soda says. “If you look at what happened, people have become educated. Before, child pornography and abuse was hidden. People are now aware.”
About a year ago, Soda organized Stolen Children Are Reported Every Day shortly after newspaper carrier Eugene Martin, 13, apparently had been abducted from his south Des Moines route. In October, Soda turned over to authorities a videotape of an interview he had conducted with a Des Moines Register adult carrier who admitted having had intimate relations with teen-age boys. The carrier later was prosecuted. “It was getting to a point where I was putting on two lectures a day, and we put on as many as four or five in a given week all over the state. It got so well-known and accepted.” Soda said there were 70 lectures in three months, and the talks became too time-consuming and expensive.
Des Moines Mayor Pete Crivaro, who attended a Soda lecture, said Thursday that Soda told a “shocking story.” Soda included in the programs slides showing nude children and sexual devices portrayed in magazines. Said Crivaro: “It stirred up a lot of people. Personally, I’ve never been exposed to child pornography, and what I saw convinced me to support programs to correct the problems.”
Ron Wheeler, first assistant Polk County attorney, said he had “advised (Soda on a friendly basis” that the slides might violate the state’s anti-smut laws. “It reads that a person commits a Class D felony when a person knowingly promotes any material visually depicting a live performance of a child engaging in a prohibited sexual act or a simulation of prohibited sexual act.” Exceptions, Wheeler said, include police officers and officers of the court, doctors, lawyers and psychologists “in performance of their official duties.” “It was left up to Sam. He has provided information to this office that has been helpful,” Wheeler said.
Soda said the slides were explicit. “Call it shock treatment or whatever you want, but it was time that somebody showed them. We still gather a great deal of information,” Soda said, and it is passed to authorities. “The problem is a 100-year-old problem. As long as you have people who molest kids, you’re going to have children abducted”.
What is satanic cult panic?
The North American satanic panic of the 1980’s and 1990’s, often called a “moral panic”, is well documented on several sites that you can ‘google’ up.
Here, however, I’m using the phrase “satanic cult panic” in reference to a specific phenomenon that some professionals in academia, social work, psychiatry/psychology and law enforcement experienced during that period.
As a result of repeated contact in their personal or professional lives, with other adults falsely claiming to have knowledge about or experience with (imaginary) secret murderous satanic cultists, who might strike at any time “in your own neighborhood” ala the Manson Family – some people allowed themselves to believe such cults really did exist. Obsessive contemplation about this imaginary ‘threat’ to themselves and their loved ones could trigger extended fight-or-flight ‘panic’ response – causing them to say and/or do irrational things.
‘Radical’ criminologist Hal Pepinsky:
Hal Pepinsky taught criminal justice at Indiana University in Bloomington for 30 years, retiring in 2009. He called himself a “radical criminologist” because of his professed radical feminist beliefs and dedication to women’s social justice issues. Pepinsky believed in researching social subcultures by immersing himself in that community, forming personal relationships with member-participants and getting them to “speak for themselves, about themselves”, directly to him as they interacted.
Pepinsky’s “radical” interests led him into contact with, and involvement in, a criminal underground of non-custodial parental kidnappers and the secret social network that facilitated them in committing these crimes. This network included self-professed Satanic Ritual Abuse survivors, who seduced women into believing their partner was a secret satanic cultists planning to sacrifice them & their children, and then helping the mothers to kidnap their kids and flee the country – run by an SRA urban legends obsessed woman named Faye Yeager. Pepinsky was delighted to help out, naturally, and eventually invited some of the “survivors” to attend one of his classes and tell their tales to his students “in their own words”, and some became regular ‘guest lecturers’ in his classes right up to his retirement 20-something years later. Pepinsky also joined and attended S.top M.ind-control A.nd R.itual-abuse T.oday conferences. There has never been objective evidence, let alone proof, that any of Pepinsky’s SRA friends were raised in or abused by a genuine child-abusing child-sacrificing cult – but Hal chose to believe them anyway.
An imaginary satanic cult – a genuine panic
Pepinsky has said, at conferences and on his Peacemaking blog:
“By 1996 my classes were already filled with accounts of intergenerational, essentially satanic ritual torture and murder.
It hit me particularly hard when, three years after I started teaching the seminar, I wandered through some woods. I’d lived in Bloomington for twenty years and a couple of blocks from where I lived, I’d walked through these woods. I was enjoying an early spring day in March and as I was out in the woods I suddenly saw what looked to me, now that I’ve heard so much and seen so much about ritual abuse, like what used to be a ritual altar. [In reality, Pepinsky couldn’t have identified a genuine “ritual altar” to save his life]
And I went exploring further. It went on for hundreds of yards down the creek bed. I called a survivor and had him walk through it with me. We came upon what appeared to be a human grave [but wasn’t] covered over with cement in the creek bed…
The people who own that particular property kind of own it in little packages. They all live on one-half street and this included some pretty prominent people in town. Then I found out that one of the co-owners of that property was my someone I had sought for professional services. I got scared. It was scary enough to begin with, but suddenly it got really personal. It wasn’t just something that survivors from out of town were bringing to me; it was right next to me. It could involve people who were very close to me”.
There was no secret murderous satanic cult in Bloomington of course, but Pepinsky convinced himself that there must be – and his SRA survivor friends encouraged this fantasy. And so, he obsessed on this fantasy until he drove himself right out of his mind.
“I was so scared for my family that I was having paranoid psychotic episodes, and I signed on for over a decade’s therapy…”
And he continued to experience paranoid psychotic episodes from time to time throughout that decade.
That’s not all that satanic cult panic cost him. Read Bob’s comment, under Pepinsky’s blog post here:
…And this girl had been in the program for maybe a month, a few weeks, I don’t know, not very long. And we knew she had been diagnosed with multiple personalities. […] Well we knew, you know, a psychiatrist is not going to say somebody has multiple demons. But in her case that’s what we were dealing with, demonic powers. — Nancy Alcorn, president and founder of Mercy Ministries
Recovered Memory Therapy, Conversion Therapy, and exorcisms: this mishmash of harmful pseudoscience and archaic religious practice is foisted on the vulnerable young women at Mercy Ministries by their under-educated, inexperienced mental health care-givers. During her stay, former resident Chelsea Darhower experienced first hand the oppression and cult-like atmosphere that has made Mercy Ministries infamous among many of its graduates.
Here is her story:
Beth: …No one at Mercy Ministries has the authority to diagnose – can you confirm that that’s the case? At other clinics the girls and women risk coming out with a diagnosis that haunts them the rest of their lives.
Chelsea: Nobody at Mercy Ministries has the authority to diagnose. The only time a girl would come in contact with a doctor at Mercy Ministries is for three reasons.
1. She goes completely postal and is dropped off at a psychiatric ward.
2. She comes in on psychiatric drugs and she is sent to a psychiatrist. Even then the psychiatrist they would send her to doesn’t diagnose, he just writes scripts.
3. They have a outside family doctor that deals with medical incidences.
In general though, Mercy Ministries is very anti-psychiatry so you will not see them adding any type of diagnosis to anyone. They like to distance girls from the psychiatric world and any type of future help, not give them new diagnoses.
Nancy Alcorn may get jolly over the prospect of having someone who was diagnosed as “DID” in the psychiatry world, but that’s only because she thinks they are possessed by spirits that she has to take authority over. If you say the words “I was diagnosed with DID”, a staff member will get its wings at Mercy Ministries. She thinks your “parts” are evil spirits that infested your soul while you were being abused.
Chelsea: For me, before I went in there, providers thought that maybe I was abused and I told Mercy Ministries this. And that’s when it started.
Beth: Interesting. The providers – your treatment providers at the time, you mean, prior to Mercy?
Chelsea: I was really hyper-vigilant, but it was because I was constantly tired all the time from my narcolepsy. One doctor [prior to Mercy Ministries] suggested to me that I might have DID and I told [Mercy] this. It used to be a question on the application, so I told them right away. The DID diagnosis happened in between the application to Mercy and arriving there. And my counselor’s face turned white. I asked her if something was wrong and she said “No” and I said “Is that bad”? And she said “No”. And I was still pressing her, because she looked sick to her stomach. And I said “What’s wrong? DID, like Dissociative Identity Disorder?” And she was like “I don’t know what that is”. And I was like “Like multiple personality disorder, just the new term for it”. And she’s like “No, no I’ve never heard of it, let’s get back to what we were doing”. And I was like who has never heard of Multiple Personality Disorder? And then after I left and did all this research on Mercy I learned that Nancy Alcorn’s Ministry had this thing for DID cases.
Our counseling model was called “Restoring the Foundations” and it was started by the Kylstras. Basically they started this training program on how to “help” people with DID “the Pentecostal way”. And Nancy Alcorn was obsessed with this training process, and with training her counselors for this training process. I provided a link to just one of the many places that have been trained by the Restoring the Foundations Model on how to deal with DID clients. This is how bad it is.
From the website: Secular therapy often fails to adequately resolve the complex spiritual issues involved in the healing process of abuse victims. … as much as 10% of the general population and 20% to 50% of psychiatric in-patients are dissociative to some degree.
In 2008, amidst a flurry of accusations of financial fraud and abuse of the residents, the two Australia based Mercy homes were shut down. Residents alleged that they had been subjected to exorcisms to rid them of their mental and emotional maladies. In June of that year, Alcorn announced that Mercy Ministries was developing its own counseling model, Choices That Bring Change. According to past residents, Choices That Bring Change has far fewer references to casting out demons, but keeps the same key features as Restoring the Foundations. A quick look at some of the printed material for both programs demonstrates that they are, in fact, quite similar, and the basic counseling techniques — particularly those that are known to cultivate false memories and extract false confessions — are unchanged.
Nancy Alcorn and the Mercy Ministries staff shun psychiatry and conventional mental health treatment, attempting to “fix” the residents via supernatural means: salvation, prayer, casting out demons, and being “filled with the spirit”. But they share a common bond with an ever-growing subset of conventional therapists; namely, the secular, faux-therapeutic element of Mercy Ministries’ past and present therapy models is drawn directly from the pseudo-scientific quackery of the International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation (ISST-D), an organization which actively promotes Illuminati and Satanic Ritual Abuseconspiracy theories and facilitates the continued development and use of modern Recovered Memory techniques.
Setting aside their disdain for the worldly sophistication of secular psychology and psychiatry, Restoration in Christ Ministries’ “What Is DID” page acknowledges charter members and past presidents of the ISST-D as their primary sources of information:
Dr. Frank W. Putnam, whose expert witness testimony for the defense of a woman who murdered her non-verbal, non-communicative autistic son can be seen here. This email inquiry to Dr. Putnam touches on just a few of the problems with his testimony:
Onno Van der Hart, a Satanic Ritual Abuse and Recovered Memory proponent from the Netherlands
Such is the dubious foundation upon which DID and Recovered Memory proponents build their beliefs and professional practices. But whatever meager oversight is given to properly accredited, licensed mental health care facilities, the unlicensed, unaccredited Mercy Ministries has no such standards to meet, and the residents are without recourse.
Beth: Wow. I’m just looking over the main site, but the “ritually abused” in their tag line at the top of the page caught my eye. They quote Colin Ross!
Chelsea: Yeah… the pentecostal DID and false memories are two decades behind the rest of us. I wonder if Colin Ross would even call these people crazy though, the way they do things.
Chelsea: You have Pentecostals and then you have Benny Hinn Pentecostals…
Beth: I grew up in a conservative home, very fundamentalist, but almost the polar opposite of Pentecostals. We sang hymns and were fairly prim and proper during the church service. Pentecostals were like a different breed. My few visits to Pentecostal churches, it all seemed very wacky to me.
Chelsea: Oh it was definitely wacky to me. When I went to Mercy Ministries and people were not acting like they typically did, it freaked me out. I remember at one point one staff member suspected that demons were all around the house, so they took “blessed water” and made crosses above each room with the water. Everyone went around and yelled in tongues. It reminded me more of devil worshiping.
…And the reason for this “cleansing”?
Chelsea: Apparently two girls were caught kissing.
Beth: I know this experience at Mercy was a horrific one for you, but that’s hilarious.
Chelsea: Oh I totally know… I was terrified back then but now I just have to laugh at half of the stuff and realize that if it happened to me today and I was as confident as I am now, I would have been kicked out for making fun. I can’t imagine getting through something like that unless you can find the humor in it. I was totally kicked out because they said I was rebellious and manipulative.
I think what they meant to say was, half the time they told us to do stuff, I stood there and rolled my eyes.
Beth: Well, there’s something else that also made you incompatible with the survivor community — you placed a higher priority on knowing the truth than on being accepted and having that status. That’s a difficult thing for people, especially when that’s their only source of validation and affection. It would be a hard thing to do, pursuing the truth and risking all of those connections and the support.
Chelsea: Yeah that was a really hard time. Especially because Mercy had wrangled in my entire family and friends. “Oh we’re so perfect and if anyone can fix your friend, daughter, sister, it’s us and we are so perfect that in fact if she doesn’t make if through, it means that she had to be the screw up”. So it meant much more than losing Mercy, it meant making all my friends and family mad at me for months. It led to a suicide attempt, a psych stay and eventually years later their affection for Mercy dwindled and I won their love back. Yay happy ending!
Beth: I’m sorry it took years, but yes! So glad there was a happy ending!
Chelsea: I think in most part because some of my family is religious and they equated Mercy to God.
Beth: Yes, my family had its share of difficulties, too. We had to suffer through it because most of the Christian counseling facilities did not have well trained therapeutic counselors back then. They had counselors with theological backgrounds who insisted all problems were spiritual, and told their clients to pray and read the Bible when their tempers were flaring.
Chelsea: Ick, yeah, that was the whole spiel they gave us at Mercy. Girls would go up to staff “I feel like I need to self harm”. “Go pray about it”
Beth: So, really, as you said, a lot like what you experienced at MM. Of course, there are some people who might see some benefit from that. Praying can be meditative, and some people report improvement in mild anxiety and mild depression when they meditate. But then you have everyone else, who gets no benefit from it at all. And the self-harmers, what happens when they keep self-harming?
Chelsea: As far as self harming at Mercy Ministries… They threaten you A LOT. That’s how they keep you in order. They really pin you against your life. Basically you show up to Mercy half dead and you’re begging them to make you alive again. But they will use the fact that you owe them, or that they can kick you out for anything.
Beth: That’s what I suspected; the threat of punishment, isolation… wow. What a place to be stuck in.
Chelsea: If they threaten to kick you out, thoughts of “omg my family will hate me, I’ll probably die from suicide, Mercy ministries says I won’t survive out there without them” circle around in your head until you nearly faint. So you just do what they say. Stop self harming? Fine. Read books when you hate reading? Fine. Don’t sleep when you have narcolepsy? Fine. Until one day you just crack and the next thing you know you are briskly walking away from the establishment in what the staff members refer to as an “escape”.
Beth: So they play on your desperation. It’s a shame it caused so much conflict with your family, but kicking you out was the biggest favor they ever did for you.
Chelsea: I KNOW. I totally and 100% agree. The graduates that are against Mercy are often stuck in this foggy in-between. Can’t choose. They know Mercy is bad, but they gave them a graduation ring and they still have friends from Mercy. For me, my friends from Mercy cut me off right away. If you get kicked out of Mercy you’re not even allowed to say goodbye to the other girls, let alone speak to them afterward. It’s almost like you’re a leper. You don’t have that other side that doesn’t see the truth about Mercy tugging on your shoulder constantly. They walked away on the same day everybody else did, one fateful day in October in 2008.
Beth: Is there any one particular issue that brings girls to Mercy? As in, is it primarily eating disorders, or self harming, anything in particular?
Chelsea: They like to deal a lot with disorders that tend to make sponsors feel sorry for people. So avoid disorders like “schizophrenia” “bipolar” and hone in more towards disorders like “eating disorders and depression and self harm”. They do ask for past treatment providers info.
Discussing a hypothetical: “What if someone were to go in undercover?”
Chelsea: I guess inevitably I have to ask the question “how strong of a person is the person you have in mind?” I guess that in the long term you would have to be sure that you’re not helping to send someone susceptible into Mercy. Nobody knows Mercy’s dirty side better than I do. If I haven’t experienced it, then I’ve talked one on one with a girl who has. I’ve spent hours with girls talking them into reaching out for help, even though Mercy was supposed to be help.
If someone were to do this you would have to prepare her for whatever she would come across and also put her in contact with others who have experienced this, who may have other things to add. Because in the end we are all susceptible to cults and mind control, no matter how much we like to tell ourselves we are not.
There are certain things she would have to know. For example, they will try and convince her without a doubt that she is not allowed to leave, cannot leave, and if she leaves the property, whatever is her worst fear will come true. But this is not the reality. Mercy is not a court commitment. They don’t take court commitments. In this instance you should think of it as “I went over to a friends house and I can leave whenever I want”. If they physically try to keep you there, it’s called kidnapping. You could, at anytime while you feel unsafe, walk out of those doors, and to a phone or a neighbor. And they can chase after you with their vans, manipulate you with every morsel in their body and you can keep walking. They cannot grab you and put you in the van. That’s also called kidnapping. For me, for example, when I ran away they threatened to kick me out and I said “Good”. Then they told me [if I left] I would “shut down all of Mercy Ministries”. Which to me was horrible at the time, because I thought they were a good program and I would hurt others. I also was so fearful they would call the cops and have me brought back to Mercy. But if they would have called the cops, they would have gotten themselves in trouble. But I was so off, that I didn’t know who the bad guys were and I assumed it was me.
Words can be much stronger than a physical grasp and trust me, they teach words to the staff at Mercy Ministries. There are a billion other things this girl would need to know and needs to be prepared for.
The fact that she will have limited access to the outside world. No phone calls during the week. Incoming phone calls Saturday and two outgoing phone calls on Sunday and at anytime they can just block somebody from calling “just because”. And that Staff do and can listen in on conversations. No access to news/newspapers/radios/regular music (Christian music only). The assignments she’ll be doing, the toilets she’ll be scrubbing, the fact that she will in fact have to act happy when you are in fact angry with how the whole program pans out. She will have to pretend talk in tongues, pretend praise and worship (hands in the air). At some point she’ll have to do alter calls. She may even be encouraged to be water baptized again, because even if she says she was baptized as a child, it may not count to them.
She will need to learn the most crazy boundaries ever. No hugs, no touching people ever, even permission is needed to do others’ make up and hair, changing in small stalls in the bathroom. Possible separation contracts (actual written out contracts that prevents you from coming within 5 feet of another person) if they feel she is getting too close to another girl for any reason whatsoever and totally out of the blue. All of this is to prevent lesbianism.
She would have to learn not to trust anyone, because everyone is just scanning everyone else, waiting for someone to mess up so they can go tattle on them and score more brownie points. She would have to resist all their “Herbal remedies” they push on everyone. If she can’t sleep, she better keep it to herself, because otherwise she’s getting melatonin shoved down her throat. She’d have to deal with the stringent exercise and diet routine. An hour everyday at the YMCA plus totally organic foods. And she’d have to try and not puke at all the legitimate places that support Mercy Ministries after what she sees go on inside those doors. (Chik Fil A, YMCA, Honda, etc)
It would take her awhile to learn about Mercy. Mercy Ministries is not Castlewood. Castlewood has at least some standards they have to live up to. Mercy Ministries is the Wild Wild West and Castlewood is Boston.
Beth: Right, Castlewood has standards because they are a licensed mental healthcare facility, whereas Mercy Ministries is listed as a charity and is not even licensed to practice. They keep flying under the radar.
Chelsea: Mercy Ministries is a free program and their wealthy donors donate their money expecting to help women with mental illnesses. Unfortunately Mercy’s donors have the wool pulled over their eyes that they are in fact not helping any women with mental illnesses, but some day, some how the truth will come out.
Dear Dr. Hammond — You may be familiar with some pieces I’ve written in which I am highly skeptical of claims of Satanic Abuse. It has been indicated to me that you yourself have come a long way to recognizing that errors of method may have led to conclusions stated in your Greenbaum Speech. If so, I think it could be very helpful if you were willing to elaborate on this, either in conversation, or by email, to clarify your position now. I think people are actively harmed by the false perception of an omnipresent evil, and I think you could possibly greatly help their situation. Please let me know if you might be willing to speak to me by phone, or address this topic via email for me to post online. Respectfully, Doug
This piece was written in collaboration with Sarah Ponto Rivera
Where the Witch-hunters are: Satanic Panic and Mental Health Malpractice
By Douglas Mesner and Sarah Ponto Rivera
“I have met many demons, devils, evil characters, representatives of Satan, and Satan himself in my MPD [Multiple Personality Disorder] work.”
– Colin Ross, MD, 1994
Past President, International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation (ISSTD)
“I remain troubled about the matter of transgenerational satanic cults.”
– Richard Kluft, MD, 2014 Past President, ISSTD
It is with an ironic sense of disdain that we can now look back upon the day-care sex-abuse hysteria of the 80s and 90s, with its imaginary conspiracy of pedophilic Satanic cult activity, and remark that one of its primary instigators was a devout Catholic. A foundational text for the “Satanic Panic”, as it came to be called, was co-authored by the pious psychiatrist Lawrence Pazder who, with his client-turned-wife, Michelle Smith, wrote of Smith’s alleged early ritual abuse at the hands of a secret Devil-worshipping society. Michelle Remembers (1980), billed as a true story and humored as such within the talk-show circuit of the time, was a ludicrous supernatural horror story in which both Christ and Satan made dramatic guest appearances. The senseless, confabulatory ramblings upon which the “facts” of the book were constructed, were gleaned from hypnotic regression sessions, in which Pazder claimed Smith had recalled horrific events that had previously been “repressed” deep within her unconscious mind. more
Some Ritual Abuse advocates, satanic conspiracy theorists and self-professed Ritual Abuse survivors have heaped praise on former Nebraska Senator John DeCamp as a heroic defender of abused children, because he published a conspiracy theory account of the Franklin child prostitution investigation bristling with inferences that “people with wealth, power, and authority” are sick & twisted child rapists. But while he was a Nebraska state senator, John Decamp and his wife were accused of sexually abusing their little girl. [“The Franklin Cover-up”, pg. 63-65] Doesn’t that make DeCamp, by their own logic, guilty of being a child abusing pedophile? Actually, the idea that – for a parent to be innocent of abuse, the child must be a liar – is based on a false assumption. The accusation against the parent might not have come from their child, at all. As in the case of Senator and Mrs. DeCamp, the accuser could be another adult and not a member of their family, and that accusation could be – and was – declared to be false without making their daughter who never did accuse them, a liar.
John DeCamp was also a lawyer for an organization very similar to Ralph Underwager’s VOCAL, called the National Child Abuse Defense and Resource Center: “…which fights against false accusations of child abuse, and is made up of adults who have been falsely accused of child abuse”. [“The Franklin Cover-up”, pg. xxiii] John DeCamp defended people accused of sexually abusing a child, and as he himself described it, not only did he get accused abusers found innocent and set free, his role was often to interrogate the child accusers until they broke down and confessed to having lied!
Ritual Abuse advocates, satanic cult conspiracy theorists and satanic panic promoters profess to be the outraged spokespeople for abused children.
However, some Ritual Abuse advocates, satanic cult conspiracy theorists, self-professed Ritual Abuse survivors and other satanic panic promoters have confessed to & been convicted of all manner of crimes against children; molestation, sexual assault, child pornography, rape, and even murder.
JOHN TODD – aka John Todd Collins aka Lance Collins, was an evangelical testimonialist who popularized Illuminati and satanic cult conspiracy theories throughout America in the 1970’s and 1980’s. In 1987 has was charged with raping a young woman and molesting two children. Convicted in 1988, sentenced to 30 years. Died in prison in 2007. Despite being a child molestor and rapist, Todd is called a hero & martyr by Satanic Ritual Abuse & Mind Control conspiracy theorists who slander Underwager as “pro-pedophile”.
TONY ALAMO – born Bernie Lazar Hoffman, was an American evangelical and founder of Tony Alamo Christian Ministries. He was a prolific anti-occult, anti-catholic, anti-gay promoter of satanic panic in the 1970’s and ’80’s. Alamo was arrested in 2008 as part of a child-porn investigation and subsequently charged with transporting minors across state lines for sex.
“One girl told the FBI that Alamo repeatedly fondled her when she was 8, then “married” her in May 2000 when she was 9. She was still 9 when he took lewd photos of her and had intercourse with her, she said. He watched adult porn films with her in his bedroom, she added. A second girl said she was 12 when Alamo had intercourse with her. When she was 14, Alamo took her to California, where he had sex with her in motel rooms and at his California compound, she said. An informant told the FBI that she saw Alamo sometimes take more than one girl at a time to his bedroom, where he kept candy bars and a Barbie doll collection.” – SPLC, July 24, 2009.
Tony Alamo was convicted on 10 counts of transporting underage girls across state lines for sex, in 2009, and sentenced to 175 years in prison.
PAUL BONACCI – convicted at age 21 of molesting a 9 year old boy on three occaisions, Bonacci had a novel albeit offensive rationalization. He claimed that he had Multiple Personality Disorder, and that one of his alters was gay and therefore a child molestor! When the gay guy inside him took over, he would make Paul molest little boys, he said. Bonacci was diagnosed as MPD by the prison psychiatrist, after Bonacci related a pathetic life history of chronic negligence and abuse by older boys and men. Subsequently, Bonacci would relate ever more elaborate tales of victimization in child porn, prostitution and satanic abuse rings, to various interviewers. He also confessed to involvement in kidnapping missing 12 year old Johnny Gosch from Des Moines when he himself was 15, and subsequently raping the boy repeatedly on a rural property just outside the city limits. Bonacci was also interviewed by Dr Judianne Densen-Gerber, a self-professed expert on Ritual Abuse and MPD, while still in prison. She declared him a genuine MPD with “an extraordinary memory for detail”, which is interesting considering that episodic amnesia and problematic memory recall is supposed to be a necessary symptom of MPD.
“Meeting with Paul, I have spoken to several of his personalities. Three psychiatrists who have examined him concurred in the diagnosis of Multiple Personality Disorder, brought on by horrible, traumatic abuse when he was a child. My first act with respect to representing Paul Bonacci was to have him write down everything he could remember, about individuals who had abused him, from his earliest boyhood. An excerpt from what he wrote appears in Chapter 10. In that document and in Paul’s letters, his handwriting will vary, depending on which personality is in control.
Bonacci was sentenced to five years in prison in 1989, for molesting a young boy for whom he was baby-sitting. Apparently one of Paul’s homosexual personalities was in control of him during the incident, in which he briefly put his hand on the outside of the young boy’s pants, an activity stopped when a remorse-stricken Paul reasserted control…” – The Franklin Cover-Up
Despite being a convicted child molestor and confessing to participation in kidnapping & rape of a younger boy, Bonacci is called a hero & martyr by Satanic Ritual Abuse & Mind Control conspiracy theorists.
REVEREND JAMES BEVEL – James Bevel was a civil rights hero, but his train starting running off the tracks after he became involved with Lyndon Larouche. Judianne Densen-Gerber was friends with Mrs Larouche and involved in Larouche’s Schiller Institute. Not long after Densen-Gerber left Omaha, James Bevel arrived to lead the “Citizens Fact-Finding Commission to Investigate Human Rights Violations of Children in Nebraska”, on behalf of the Schiller Institute, and as an advocate for imprisoned Paul Bonacci. The group distributed petitions seeking to reopen the Franklin Child Prostitution Investigation, but Bevel never submitted the petitions to the Legislature and left the state the following year.
“In May 2007, Bevel was arrested in Alabama on charges of incest committed sometime between October 1992 and October 1994 in Virginia. The accuser, one of his daughters, was 13–15 years old at the time, and lived with him in the Leesburg apartment. Three of his other daughters have also alleged that Bevel sexually abused them, although not with intercourse. Charged with one-count of unlawful fornication in Virginia, which has no statute of limitations for incest. His four-day trial in April 2008 included “testimony about Bevel’s philosophies for eradicating lust, and parents’ duties to sexually orient their children”. During the trial, the accusing daughter testified that she was repeatedly molested beginning when she was six years old”. – Wikipedia
Bevel was convicted and sentenced to 15 years.
JAMES and MARIE LAPPE – foster parents to 4 young children from the same birth family, the Lappe’s ran a therapeutic foster care home in Texas. Following a meeting of concerned parents, where Catherine Gould’s checklist of Satanic Ritual Abuse symptoms was handed out, the Lappe’s returned home full of satanic panic and proceeded to “diagnose” all of the children as SRA victims. They began subjecting the children to physical torments such as running up and down the stairs until they were past exhaustion, then demanding confessions of their parent’s involvement in the satanic cult and subjecting them to horrific abuse. Little Bobby Vernon, aged 7, refused to affirm the Lappe’s fantasies. He would not falsely accuse his parents of hurting him. Determined to force “the truth” out of the boy, the Lapp’s slammed his head on the ground over & over until they broke his skull. He died later in hospital. [I could be wrong about this. I had been led to believe that Bobby Vernon eventually succumbed to the injuries which apparently left him in a permanent vegetative state. I’m unable to verify his passing, however] The Lappe’s were subsequently found dead in their home from overdoses of prescription medicine. [According to some reports, James shot himself while Marie died of an overdose].
The Free Lance Star article, December 2, 1995, reporting that Bobby Vernon was left permanently vegatative, and the death of the Lappes, with background details:
Dr Bruce Perry’s version of these events, from his “The Boy Who Was Raised As A Dog” :
Despite being murderous child abusers, Satanic Ritual Abuse & Mind Control conspiracy theorists claim they were actually assassinated by the fantasized satanic cult, and declare them to be heroic martyrs!
Oh yes! Murderous child abusers, child molestors and rapists are heroes and martyrs to Satanic Ritual Abuse & Mind Control victim claimants and their advocates. That’s how little they really care about the wellbeing of children.
[I can’t be certain at this time, that Bobby Vernon has in fact passed away as a result of the life-threateningly extreme abuse inflicted on him by the Lappes. Regretably, there are more cases of children murdered by witch-hunting SRA true believers and advocates. See below]
One of the many falsehoods from which Satanic Ritual Abuse mythology is woven, is the pervasively repeated claim that mental health patients and others who allege a history of Ritual Abuse, therapists who treat Ritual Abuse claimants, and persons who “advocate for” Ritual Abuse claimants by evangelizing belief in Ritual Abuse mythology, are all continuously being harrassed and threatened by “the cult”.
“Active cult members continue to threaten and harm adult survivors in a multitude of ways in order to force them to remain silent, most are threatened with death should they disclose their ritual abuse, and many have seen those who threaten them murder others and thus their fears are justified” – Ritual Abuse propaganda site.
Also, Ritual Abuse and Dissociative Identity Disorder claimant-advocates sometimes allege that unnamed skeptical debunkers of SRA and DID have threatened them in some manner, supposedly out of desperation to “shut them up” and prevent them revealing “secrets” that could destroy the world’s ruling elites – if enough people were informed of “the truths” that only SRA-DID claimants can tell. Or some such fanciful nonsense.
Are these claims of living under constant threat of harm or even murder really valid? If they are not valid claims, why would these RA-DID claimant-advocates make up such stories?
The truth about Ritual Abuse patients and therapists experiencing threats – The Dilemma of Ritual Abuse; Cautions and Guides for Therapistsedited by George Fraser is an expensive and hard to get hold of book, these days, but well worth the expensive or trouble to obtain. Published in 1997, this book contains essays on a number of RA related topics, written by some of the foremost practitioners in the treatment of DID and SRA patients – not by SRA-DID skeptics or debunkers. Written by people like Dr Richard Kluft, and George Fraser himself, these essays reveal and document some very uncomfortable truths about RA-DID patient-claimants – truths personally observed and recorded by medical practitioners who likely treated more such patients than any others (any others who didn’t get sued for generating false SRA memories in their patients). Here is some of what they reveal:
SRA-DID patient-claimants, and/or their supporter-advocates,have been the people making threats against patients and their doctors! Richard Kluft provides some illustrative examples, on page 36:
“I had the further experience of receiving repeated threats on my life.For example, on many occaisions during a two month period when I answered my phone personally, a deep voice would say that I was getting too close to cult secrets and would be killed if I did not back off. Although these phone calls were extremely disquieting, after a brief period of serious concern I sensed a pattern in them. I confronted the patient I suspected was either making or instigating the calls. Although I got no admission or confirmation, I never received another threatening call”.
“On one occaision, an inpatient reported that she was receiving telephone messages from the cult instructing her to kill one of my colleagues and/or me…I arranged for the patient to be kept away from the telephone for a few days without the patient being aware of this intent. She continued to report receiving calls from the cult“.
George Fraser reports similar experiences. One of his patients claimed she was receiving threatening postcards, with “self-desctruct” mind-control commands secretly coded onto them, mailed from various foreign countries. Fraser became suspicious, and a close examination of the postcards revealed that the foreign postal-markings were faked! The patient had been mailing the doctored postcards to herself, confessed one of her “alters”.
Ritual Abuse and Dissociative Identity Disorder claimants themselves have been exposed as the real authors of the threats that they and/or their therapists received, in case after case – but other members of RA-DID “support groups” that many claimants have been involved with are also suspected of concocting and perpetrating elaborate campaigns of threatening harrassment against a range of persons in some claimants lives – including; their therapist’s or treatment facility’s other patients, friends, family members, clergy and community support services workers . Richard Kluft issued informed and insightful condemnations of these non-clinical Ritual Abuse victim claimant “support” groups and networks. From pg. 45:
“I am particularly wary of leaderless or peer-facilitated support groups for dissociative disorder patients and others who allege that they are survivors of ritualistic groups. I have tracked the course of more than a dozen of these groups over the years, and all but one were unmitigated disasters…the proclivity of these groups for overwhelming their members with one another’s traumatic material, excessive dependency, and unbridled requests for support and nurture…and the possibility that members will, under the aegis of group forces and their own vulnerabilities, come to believe that they too have experienced what others represent as their personal histories”.
“But I can share the personal observation that among those MPD (DID) patients and allegers of satanic ritual abuse whom I have treated, those who have networked extensively with fellow patients or allegers invariably take longer to treat than those who do not, and their treatment runs a stormier course. I currently refuse to treat patients who insist on participating in [such] potentially contaminating and countertherapeutic activities”.
Right here, in this youtube video: “David Shurter speaks for testify project…” You don’t even have to watch much of it, Shurter makes the claim only 20 seconds in.
On his blog, Shurter now says that his father was not involved in cannibalism and any suggestion that Shurter said he was would be “so way off base”. But the evidence is right here for you to see and hear. Shurter says that his father was High Priest of a satanic cult operating in Omaha…”and as his son I participated in and witnessed cannibalism, blood sacrifice and murder at his side…”. He can’t even remember what lies he has told about his family & childhood – all the proof that anyone needs, to know that this man is a liar and a fraud!
David Shurter defends convicted pedophiles and slanders child victims!
This hypocritical fraud calls himself a child sex abuse victim advocate, which just makes my blood boil. He rants on & on in his blog postings about child sex trafficking being a huge problem and a terrible evil that nobody cares about but him, but IN HIS BOOK – “Rabbit Hole” – he calls convicted pedophiles Walter Carlson and Mark Andersen his friends and claims they were “set up” for wrongful prosecution by child prostitutes and their parents. Quoting from his book;
“It was also during Project Clean-up that Mark and Walt were charged with crimes against children, which I found to be ridiculous. Mark had invited three hustlers to spend the night on his living room floor and had either inadvertently or intentionally touched one boy’s butt. The boy’s parents tried to extort money out of Mark and failed, then turned to the police and pressed charges.”
“Suddenly, the Omaha World-Herald, whose owner Harold Andersen was reportedly involved in the Larry King/Franklin Credit Union scandal, began touting Walt, the shyest person I’d ever met, as the Pied Piper of Pornography, and Mark and Walt were proclaimed as menaces to society by the local media”.
“Having to buy a plane ticket two weeks in advance, I spent the next two weeks sobbing, waiting to fly back to Omaha to say goodbye to everyone in my life. Omaha media stories that week said David was killed by his roommate Mike James, for reasons unclear; John Joubert was convicted and sentenced to death; and Mark Andersen and Walt Carlson were convicted and sentenced to spend years in prison”.
“No real evidence linked Mark and Walt to any crime, but Omaha had become a circus dictating justice from a kangaroo court. The fact that the parents of the boy had tried to extort money from Mark before going to the police (which came out in court), was insufficient to save him and Walt from prison”.
Shurter calls himself an advocate for child sex abuse victims, but when his friends were charged with crimes against children, did he believe the children? NO! Even now, when he wrote this book, he dismissed the child victim’s disclosures as “ridiculous”. He goes on to refer to the three boys, who were 11 and 12 years old*, by the derogatory term of “hustler” rather than as child sex trafficking victims – which is what they would be, if they really had been prostituting themselves.
*[Quoted from Mark Andersen’s appeal, click on State vs Andersen link further down; “Mark G. Andersen appeals his jury convictions and sentences on two charges of first degree sexual assault and three charges of sexual assault on a child. The victims were three preteenage boys in Omaha, J.M., B.T., and S.M…Andersen at time of trial was a 38-year-old homosexual male; his alleged victims, J.M., B.T., and S.M., testified truthfully to Andersen’s sexual behavior toward them; and at the time the offenses occurred, J.M. and S.M. were each 11 years old, and B.T. was 12 years old.”]
He insinuates that because the boys were supposedly involved in prostitution, that would make them more likely to be lying about his good friend Mark Andersen abusing them! Some sex trafficking victim advocate he is – what a fraud! Shurter shows no understanding at all, that when an adult pays a child for sex that makes the adult guilty of child sex trafficking, and that the child is always victimized by such a transaction. He even commits the infamous sex crime denialist rationalization of minimizing the seriousness of the children’s accusations, saying that Andersen might have either “inadvertently” [HAH!] or intentionally “touched one boys butt” – but only one boy and he only touched it, he seems to be saying.
Shurter then goes on to slander the victim’s parents as extortionists, and dismiss the victim’s disclosures as payback for Andersen not paying the alleged extortion! He repeats this slander several times, even falsely claiming that it was established as fact in the trial.
Most outrageous of all, Shurter dismisses all of the victim’s disclosures and testimony, and all of the child pornography seized by police, as: “No real evidence linked Mark and Walt to any crime”.
Well, that’s a crock of BS – as this appeals court ruling against Mark Andersen demonstrates with great detail and thoroughness –
“Each boy’s testimony corroborates the testimony of the other two. All three boys testified as to the defendant’s invitations to stay overnight and the fun places the defendant took them. Each boy related the sexually explicit content of the movies they were shown until late at night and testified of being awakened by the defendant’s sexual acts. Two victims testified that the defendant required them to remove all but their underwear before sleeping in his bed with him. This evidence establishes a “modus operandi” and helps corroborate the victims’ testimony. Andersen’s testimony in large part also corroborated the victims’, except he denied sexual misconduct”.
“Sexual assault on a child is an extremely serious and deplorable crime. Andersen’s suggestion that he should receive a lesser penalty because he chose as his victims children whom he claimed had already been subjected to sexual contact is abominable. Andersen, in his brief, points to nothing in the record indicating that two of his victims were, in fact, previously subjected by others to the type of sexual abuse that Andersen inflicted upon them”.
“Neither the trial record nor the presentence investigation reflects any mitigating factors justifying lesser sentences for Andersen’s criminal conduct as determined by the jury in its verdicts. If anything, considering the magnitude, number, and frequency of the crimes the record shows Andersen committed, and considering the impact upon the victims, as shown by the presentence investigation, more severe sentences might well have been justified”.
“It is great being such an abject failure in my life. I have fucked everything up – accomplished nothing- and lost everyone. I wish I wasn’t such a loser – and that people who know me loved me- but that isn’t the case” – David Shurter
A liar, a fraud and a charlatan – it all began back in 2008, when David Shurter started posting his crappy, slanderous, lunatic videos. This one starts with Shurter holding a sign that reads: “I need help in solving a murder I was forced to commit in 1979″. The first part of that statement – “I need help” – was, and remains, a fact…but all the rest of it is bullshit:
Shurter claimed to be a murderer in these early videos, but also that he did not know the identity of the man he supposedly killed nor did he have any proof that such a murder actually took place. Shurter claimed that he had ‘repressed’ the memory of this murder until 2007, when he allegedly “remembered” the event “in a dream”. In a dream! (As “everyone knows”, dreams are actually 100% accurate recollections of real events in our lives – right?)
As time went on Shurter’s fantasies, or paranoid delusions, or plain old lies, evolved a grandiose mythology about himself and his family during his childhood. His father was supposedly the leader of a large & powerful satanic cult operating in Nebraska, (and Michigan, he would later claim). He had been victimized by the same CIA MKultra mind control cult operating out of Offut Air Base that Paul Bonacci claimed to be a victim of, (although he would later denounce Bonacci as a lying ‘poser’). He was “raised to be the Anti-Christ”, and inherit not only his father’s satanic empire but that of Michael Aquino as well, (he claims to have been personally ‘trained’ in various Black Arts by Aquino). He had been raped and tortured, his family had traveled the US commiting kidnappings, rapes, sacrifices and cannibalism (that’s where the missing children of his childhood went, he claims – he and his family ate them all!).
All of these claims Shurter has made are falsehoods, of course. Only one member of his family supports any of these allegations – a sister, who appears to control David from behind the scenes like a puppeteer. David’s parents were not satanists, there was no maniacal satanic cult operating in Nebraska, there was no Monarch mind-control project operating out of Offutt air base, and David never met or had contact with Michael Aquino in his childhood.
David likes to claim expertise in a wide range of subject matter, but his incoherent and rambling writings and videos betray a near complete ignorance of those subjects. Shurter was confronted about his alleged satanic cult past on a topix forum not long ago. He had been ranting about calendar dates related to lunar cycles and how important they supposedly were to satanic cults. When asked why lunar cycles would be of any importance to satanists, he replied that “everyone knows” lunar cycles are important to them – that it’s “all over the internet”. It turned out, however, that the calendar dates he was so concerned about coincide with SOLAR cycles – not lunar cycles. Even the lowliest acolyte in an occult study group would know the difference between lunar & solar cycles – but not David Shurter the alleged expert on all things occult or satanic, the supposed heir apparent to the entire “satanic underground” of the USA, allegedly trained personally by Michael Aquino. Shurter is nothing but a liar, a fraud and a charlatan.
Fraudulent ritual abuse & mind control victim claimants, therapists professing to specialize in treating such persons, and their pseudo-academic allies, have been writing-compiling & promulgating blatantly self-serving mythologies and false history for many decades.
One of the more widely disseminated of these false histories, concerns very distorted interpretations of events during the satanic panic period, and the motivations of persons and organizations involved in exposing fraudulent testimonialists and victim claimants during that time.
They are particularly fixated with the false notion that opposition to the promoters of Satanic Panic begins and ends with the False Memory Syndrome Foundation – founded in 1992. You can find the following statement (with the exact same wording in most cases) on many of their websites:
“An American study found that between 1992 and 1994, following the founding of the FMSF, 85% of articles on child sexual abuse in leading magazines focused on false memories and false accusations. This contrasts with only 7% of articles during 1982-4”.
Sometimes they will mention that a University of Michigan sociologist named Katherine Beckett is alleged to be the author of this study, although they never quote from or cite the study itself – they are mis-quoting a journalist referencing the study in an article of his, and not attributing the quote.
Here’s another version:
“A study published last year  by a University of Michigan sociologist, Katherine Beckett, found a sharp shift in how four leading magazines – Time, Newsweek, U.S. News & World Report, and People – treated sexual abuse. In 1991, more than 80 percent of the coverage was weighted toward stories of survivors, with recovered memory taken for granted and questionable therapy virtually ignored. By 1994, more than 80 percent of the coverage focused on false accusations, often involving supposedly false memory. Beckett credited the False Memory Syndrome Foundation with a major role in the change”.
In the paranoid fantasy that SRA evangelists try to pass off as “history”, there were no SRA debunkers prior to the founding of FMSF and FMSF was solely and directly responsible for any/all changes in media coverage & perspective during that time. Those ideas are demonstrably false.
More than anything else, changes in media perspective resulted from the fact that so many major media organizations had allowed themselves to be conned by fraudulent testimonialists such as Mike Warnke and fraudulent victim claimants such as Lauren Stratford (or both together, such as Ruth Bailey and Edna Moses). Media had invested faith & trust in these and many other satanic panic promoters, and came to realize how badly they were ‘burned’ & betrayed by these frauds after the truth about them started breaking into mainstream news. Major media had been betrayed and made to look naive, gullible, stupid and unprofessional. Naturally, they attempted to “save face” by belatedly focusing on the falsity of various claims and allegations. The process of exposing the frauds did not begin in 1992 with FMSF, however. It began a decade or more earlier, carried out by researchers both professional & ‘amateur’, in many cases very ordinary people from various ‘walks of life’.